Kumite in Tennessee 2019 Recap

Last weekend, KIT (Kumite in Tennesee) took place in Nashville from January 4-6.  Many games were there to compete in, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (in both singles and doubles competition), Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur VI, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mortal Kombat XL, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Injustice 2, Killer Instinct, and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2.  All these games had some amazing moments and fierce competition to reach the top, and our own Broken Alliance players Rhyrhychan, Jackal, HavkinKnight, Sol, Squall, Xephukai, and Nitrox competed at the event too, and I had the chance after the event to get a few of their thoughts.

Sol competed in BlazBlue, and managed to take 13th place out of 40 competitors, with Fame96 winning Grand Finals.  I asked Sol what he thought of the team he had used, if he noted any strengths or weaknesses, what combos or such he thought worked best for him, and whether the event as a whole was worth it.  On his team and their strengths and weaknesses, Sol said, “ I believe my team works incredibly well, I don’t quite have any grievances at all with my girls. I believe their synergy is amazing, at most certain aspects are in need of some improvement. Ruby is fine the way she is, but as for Weiss there is a bit I’d like changed. Such as her 4p assist  still crossing over even if blocked, her timing and recovery on certain buttons should be fixed as well.” Noting that Sol also got to commentate the top 8 of the game, Sol said that the experience was definitely worth it for him, though he was disappointed in not placing higher, saying, “ I do believe KIT was well worth it, i had a lot of fun, fought lots of new people. But most importantly i was able to gauge my skill in a new state/community since it was my first time here. Plus it showed me what i need to work on before Frosty Fausting/Arc Revo Tour. Plus it’s the start of my commentator path, i had a lot of fun doing it and was asked to do top 8 BBTag and I may plan to do it at future events as well.  Aside from that my placing was not what i would have liked, but i had to fight strong people and I’m consistently able to land in 13th/tie for 10th/9th”

HavkinKnight and Rhyrhychan competed in Smash Ultimate Singles, HavkinKnight placing 129th out of 182,competitors and Rhyrhychan placing 65th , with the winner being Typo | Sonido.  When I asked about what HavkinKnight had to say on how he did, he said, “ I felt like my overall performance was poor. I had moments where I was proud of my play but the outcome just didn’t show it. This was my worst overall showing in 2 years. With that said I’m confident that it will remain my worst showing for the rest of 2019. This year will be a great year for me competitively.  I was able to take away a lot of tips to up my game and I can apply that to other events.” Having also competed in Street Fighter, HavkinKnight placed 65th out of 75.  When asked about character strength and weakness, He mentioned that, “ As a Cammy player you always have to know that because she’s such a commonly played character your opponent will most likely know what you are gonna throw at them. You have to either play her really well consistently or you have to be able to surprise your opponent. I was able to mix my game play up but I never landed them consistently.”  Havkin also mused that perhaps it was time to step away from Cammy and learn some other characters/ matchups.

Rhyrhychan told me she was rather disappointed in part of her performance, telling me, “ Besides my first match I thought all my other matches went well.  I wasn’t upset with my performance except for the first. The first round though I definitely don’t think I should have lost. That’s what upset me honestly.”  When I inquired on character strengths and weaknesses, her answer was, “ I think Robin is underrated and is definitely a good character, but can definitely struggle in some matchups that people can get in your face easily or outcamp you
Her traps are super fun and hard to get past,  especially on ledge
But I think you need to also have secondaries for other matchups if you main Robin.”  As a last thought, I asked whether she had any secondaries or any combos in particular that she found really worked.  Rhyrhychan told me Lucina was a good secondary for rush down matchups and that Zelda was good for camiper ones, saying, “If I had one more go at maui it would have been as zelda.  Double arcfire combos, and arcfire at the ledge into down smash was super useful.”

Xephukai played Soul Calibur VI, where he placed 2nd, right behind the winner, Mick.  I asked Xephukai how KIT in general was and how he felt about how he did.  He told me, “ This was my first ever KIT. Before I even attended KIT, I had Vandy adding me on multiple social media outlets, which I thought was interesting.  Mick is one of my best friends in the community, and he introduced me to Vandy when we first got to the venue. Immediately, Vandy was nice as all and professional, but also relayed how big of a fan he was of my play for Soul Calibur.  I’m not the oldest competitor, but I’m not particularly new either, being this is my third SC title I’m competing in. Other than how awesome the staff was, tournament ran smoothly. There was always casual sets up steadily available. The hype was what it should be, and I had a great time.  Definitely making it out to KIT in Dallas in September. As far as how I feel about my performance.  I am Happy with it. I don’t like losing, whatsoever, so there’s always that, but in the end, the better player between Mick and I won that night.   Which is funny since Mick is the one who was steadfast in convincing me to go to KIT. I’m happy that he won, if it wasn’t me. We go back some days. But, second place is okay for now.  I’ll be coming back stronger. “ Having noted that he switched to Sophitia after generally using Xianghua the bulk of the event, I asked what prompted the character change, and Xephukai told me, “ The character switch isn’t random.  I dominated SCV for 5 years with the “Sophitia” (her name was Pyrrha) of that game. I also used Sophitia in some pre release events for SCVI that got me 3rd at the EVO tournament. But, for KIT, the main reason is because it seemed like Mick had an ungodly understanding on how to fight Xianghua.  So, I said “screw it” and tested my Sophitia. I need to optimize my Sophitia, definitely, but this tournament showed me a lot of potential possibilities for my future events and choices.”

Nitrox competed in Tekken 7, where he placed 97th out of 125, and in Street Fighter V, where he got 25th out of 75.  Having competed in two games that play pretty differently, I asked Nitrox what he thought of the overall experience at the event first.  He told me, “ KIT was nothing short of phenomenal and I got to spend time with some of the closest BxA members to me. With the smaller scale of the event as opposed to most fighting game majors that take place throughout the year it felt laid back and relaxed like you were among a group of friends at a local. Vandy, Gweedo and the crew and streamers at KIT worked to make the event run without a hitch.”  Following that up, I asked him about his personal performance and how he’d rank it. He rated it at a “C” and told me, “ My mental preparation was not adequate and I focused on many of the wrong things and played generally sluggish during Tekken which resulted in me going 0-2. Thanks to Squall’s coaching, I was able to mostly recover during Street Fighter V and went 3-2, eliminated two matches before top 16.  What I went through at KIT was having the incorrect mentality going into tournaments. It was harder for me to compete at KIT than any major I’ve been through, and it’s something i won’t let happen again. Given my relatively adequate track record at majors I’ve been to in 2018, I believe it was important that this happened at least once. Though it hurts to not perform up to par, knowing what I did wrong to take care of myself will be used to my advantage for every tournament here on out.”  

Jackal competed in both Killer Instinct and Injustice 2, earning 13th out of 25 in the first game and 17th out of 40 in the second. Simplicity | Tweedy won Injustice 2, while MnT Thompxson won Killer Instinct.  Jackal told me that these aren’t his main games,and told me, “ My main game as of late has been Fighting EX Layer, and my performance in Injustice 2 and Killer Instinct were reflective of that. I feel that my time has all but passed in those games, so I’m fairly at peace with my performance that weekend.”  When asked what he thought of KIT as a whole, Jackal, like our other players had a very positive view, saying, “ KiT is one of my favorite events to go to every year. It is a criminally underrated event and it only gets better with time. It runs well, gives equal opportunity to all of the games it features, and has a great venue. A top 3 event for sure in my opinion.”

Our last competitor, Squall, competed in Street Fighter V as well, and he managed to place 5th out of 75 people.  Speaking with Squall, I asked him for personal thoughts on his performance and the event as well, and he told me, “ I feel like my performance for KIT was overall pretty good since I placed 5th, but could have been a lot better. KIT is an amazing event though and I have been attending it for the past 3 years now.”  Following up on that, I asked him if his performance and the event in general taught him anything, and it would seem that it did. Squall mentioned, “ This event taught me that I need to remain a lot more focused in order to achieve my desired placing. I feel that I would have done better if I was more focused and prepped during top 8. The first, and most important step to this is taking care of your body beforehand.”  Seems to me like he’ll only get better results from here!

In the end, KIT 2019 was a massive success, showcasing a lot of great talent, like Cuddle_core, Spero Gin, Tweedy, and others like Kitana_Prime.  Our Broken Alliance players ended up in a variety of places in a lot of different games, and KIT really brought out fierce competition! With a tournament run and handled so well, it’s no wonder Texas will be getting its own version in September!  KIT really showcased great gameplay, from Cuddle_core’s Alisa, who was absolutely dominant in Tekken 7, to Spero Gin and Tweedy, KIT really brought out the best this tournament.


Written by: Alex Henning